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Jorja Smith Be Right Back FAMM


Jorja Smith’s debut album Lost & Found introduced the world to her distinctive, soulful timbre and at times mannered vocal stylings. Now a few years wiser, Smith has gathered some loose threads. On Be Right Back, her new eight-track project, the Walsall native has reined in her voice, resulting in a much more subtle and arresting body of work.

Take Home, a gentle reflection on a relationship that just won’t work; Smith’s voice is layered in harmony over a simple guitar, but even with riffs and ad libs aplenty, the track is graceful, tactful, an exercise in restraint. On Digging, an anxiety-inducing anthem about overcoming a panic attack, Smith bites against the thumping percussion as she demands “get out of my head”.

Smith’s ability as a songwriter has only grown, too. Here she uses her voice as a tool to navigate neo soul, jazz, R&B and trip-hop influences without the precocious, wide-eyed excitement of her previous work. While Lost & Found followed a protagonist finding her footing in adulthood, Be Right Back feels like more of a statement, a snapshot of an artist who is confident and self-assured. The change is startling and refreshing. After nearly a decade in the industry, Jorja Smith seems ready to reintroduce herself.